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Friday, August 10, 2012


Kelly Miller Circus delights Point Place
Children of all ages welcome under big top

 
Siberian tigers perform tricks for a crowd of 1,100 people at the Kelly Miller Circus that performed at Friendship Park in Point Place. The circus performs today at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania Township.
 THE BLADE/KATIE
BY CASEY SUMNER, BLADE STAFF WRITER
from: toledoblade.com
8/10/2012
The lights dimmed in the musty big top as spectators watched ringmaster John Moss III step forward.
"Children of all ages," he boomed. "Welcome to America's one-ring wonder."
Seconds later, five enormous Siberian tigers stalked their way into the center ring, followed by their trainer, Ryan Holder. So began "fascinating felines," the first act of the Kelly Miller Circus, which played two shows Thursday in Point Place as part of its tour of northwest Ohio.
A packed crowd of roughly 1,100 watched Mr. Holder, seemingly oblivious to any risk, bid the tigers to sit, jump, roll, and stand on their hind legs.
Next up came the Delara duo of Delena Fusco and Sara Greene, who performed a series of aerial tricks while suspended from ropes. At one point, with the crowd cheering, one of the female acrobats held her partner suspended in midair, connected only by a rope clenched in their mouths.
Following them was an assortment of music, juggling, clowning, acrobatics and, of course, trained elephants that makes up the 2012 program of the Kelly Miller Circus, which will play two more shows in Sylvania Township today before heading to Michigan.

May Whiting, 6, left admires the painted design on her face that’s reflected on a mirror while her sister, Anna, 4, has hers applied before the start of the Kelly Miller Circus on Thursday.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Proceeds from Thursday's two shows went to the Point Place Business Association's Scholarship Fund, the Ottawa River Cleanup Association, and the Lions Football League, said Rick Knapp, a volunteer at the Point Place Community Center, which sponsored the show.
The circus's owner and producer, John Ringling North II, attends every show on the tour. His family has deep ties to the circus business: He counts the famous Ringling brothers as his relatives.
He spent his childhood summers, he said, traveling with his family's circus. After decades away from the circus, he purchased Kelly Miller in 2006.
"I wanted to go back to the life I grew up in," he said. "I'm very fond of all the animals."
 
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Elizabeth Sugg of Toledo speaks with fellow animalrights protesters near the entrance to the Kelly Miller Circus at Friendship Park in Point Place. A handful of protesters were on hand for Thursday’s performance, asking people to boycott the circus over alleged cruelty.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Aside from the center-ring entertainment, children could enjoy peanuts, cotton candy, and balloons. They also could get chances to ride one of the circus's camels and elephants.
May Whiting, 6, from Point Place had her face painted to resemble a pink butterfly. Her favorite part, she said, was watching the animals "when they're running in circles."
Today's Kelly Miller Circus shows will start at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Pacesetter Park.

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